Is there an ‘Investing in Yourself’ line item on the P&L?
I won a first-timer scholarship from FinCon. It covered the cost of entry to the event, but I had to pay for travel, food, and lodging. It also was during an incredibly busy time in the quarter. Although I applied to earn the scholarship, once I earned it I was looking for ways to not make it happen. With a little creative financing, I did choose to go and spend my time at the conference.
It wasn’t just because I had some finance help (although that did make the decision either). I was still going to have to take time out traveling and not doing sales calls during the day. Ultimately, I decided to go because it was an investment in The Investing Circle and in myself.
Investing in yourself has unlimited returns
Ultimately investing in yourself is putting money and/or time into you. Your brand, your soft skills, your physical health, your mental health, and other things you might not be able to put a price on.There is a Return On Investment (ROI) for those items though.
- If you spend time (only 2 minutes apparently) working out and exercising you might live a longer healthier life. ROI: A longer Life.
- Investing in your mental wellbeing through whatever way works for you also seems to extend your life and make your day to day a bit more peaceful. ROI: A longer, happier life.
- Attending conferences and networking grows your brand, improves your soft skills like communication, and can create new opportunities (which actually equates to more income). ROI: Skills created/developed that are used in your personal and professional careers.
See? There is an ROI for just about everything we do it just might not be the hard cash we want and something as instant as a direct deposit. Just like an investment in a growing stock, investing in yourself doesn’t provide dividends (lol) immediately. Sometimes it’s over weeks, months, or years and the greater the ROI the longer the investment takes.
How do I evaluate what investment in ‘myself’ makes sense?
Like any investment, I have to make sure it aligns with what I’m trying to accomplish in the long term and really who I am. Here are the three things I evaluate when looking into an investment in myself.
- Will this investment help me personally develop? I.E. improve my knowledge, skills, or confidence in my abilities? All we have as we change our jobs, move neighborhoods, and take on other opportunities are our own personal knowledge and skills. This always sticks with us. By understanding what knowledge and skills I want to continue to develop that align with my long term outlook selecting where I spend my time and money (investing in myself) becomes easier.
- Will this investment build my brand? Your skills and knowledge are all parts of your overall ‘brand.’ Think of it as your reputation in a way. As a sales guy, that’s all we have in the industry that stays with us as we traverse different industries. Always think of an investment of time as building your personal brand or in this case company brand.
- Does this investment align with my ‘why?’ Sometimes life is tough. You’ve got other priorities and the only thing that’ll keep you going is the intrinsic motivation. In this case your ‘why.’ Mine has always revolved around impacting others in a positive way and ensuring I always grow my mind, body, and soul. If the investment aligns with my ‘why,’ then I’m in.
- Why would I say ‘no’ to this investment? Always good to do one final check. Before flying a plane, I’ll do one more ‘brain fart check’ to ensure I didn’t miss anything on the checklist. Same idea here. A triple check on where I’m spending my time before I commit.
That’s it. An investment in yourself definitely takes time and money. In almost all cases though, win or lose, you get some sort of ROI. The ROI will be based on how well you evaluated the opportunity, the time you spent, and other variables specific to the opportunity. The important part though is that there is in fact an ROI on investing in yourself.